— Temporal Vortex

Persona 4 – Amidst the Fog

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My gameplay has been interrupted last summer and since I was busy from school work from there on, I was only able to finish P4 this Christmas break. Now, I was able to finish one among the games in my backlog.

I’ve finished Persona 3 (The Journey) just last year, also this time of year, so I can still clearly remember it to compare it to its successor, Persona 4. I think I already made a comment about this on The Fool regarding the depth of the story and the artistic choices of the production. Persona 3 is much more engaging in my opinion because I think Persona 3 has this ominous and eerier atmosphere compared to Persona 4 which only involves serial murders through the use of the Midnight Channel. Well, if if you think of it, Midnight Channel is creative, but I also think it has it’s own down side compared to Dark Hour.

Spoilers Alert!

Dark Hour limits the connection of outsiders to those of the group while Midnight Channel is somewhat open for all. Somehow, the idea of the Dark Hour is more potent because it was caused by an experiment that went wrong while Midnight Channel was cause by an external force. Dark Hour also supports the fact that only you and your party is capable of saving the world while in Persona 4, it will be revealed that the Boss has chosen several candidates other than the protagonist.

5616384200 Then again, even though I can say that Persona 3’s story is much more substantial and in-depth, it still doesn’t mean I enjoyed it that much compared to Persona 4. Persona 4 is much more enjoyable because of its well-crafted system. It has a much lighter and mellow story. One of the story’s catch is the friendship among the party members, facing the your other self, and seeking the truth behind the serial murders. It is peculiar to that of Persona 3 where the party is somewhat forced to fight and defeat the shadows in order to survive. Yep, Persona 3, I think is more of fighting for survival and duty(in the case of Mitsuru).

The system is very flexible, since you can now control your allies in battles. The modifications of the “weakness” system also helped a lot. And of course, the thing which was a neat addition is the ability of your allies to take a mortal blow for you! That’s the sweetest addition in my opinion because you won’t be shouting now at the height of frustration to your idiot party members (at P3) doing nothing when your health is already critical. Of course, the  sure critical hits from allies are also sweet, but what’s sweeter is that, they could also now withstand a mortal attack on their own. You’ll never be in a tight spot in Persona 4, not unless your enemy is fond of all-hit attacks, such as the Almighty ones. Your allies are cheapskates though, they never use items.

I didn’t really understood the exact details regarding the weather system used in the game. I have always depended on walkthroughs regarding the final date to rescue someone, because the weather system is rather confusing, compared to the simple moon phase, after all, full moon only happens one in a month. I am confused whether the days when the fog clears in the world inside the TV is rainy or foggy days…

Relatively large fraction of the story focuses as well in facing the facade of the characters, in order to gain that power to control one’s persona. Shadow is the suppressed feelings, and once the ego was able to control it, the power is called Persona. Basically, that’s what it is for some, while it was the opposite that worked for Teddie. Albeit he was a shadow first, he was able to manifest his own ego, his human form, enabling him to obtain a Persona. And by the way, bear puns are not funny. really.

One thing I also liked from the characters in the game, albeit the characters are cliche, are their different concerns, which I think relevant to everyone. I guess this is one of the great improvements from Persona 3. I see some characters from Persona 3 as superficial characters— because they really didn’t formed social link with the protagonist. Yep, it’s the male characters. It’s as if they were made just to be there in Persona 3. In Persona 4, all social links are associated with all your party mates. So there, I think it was a good choice that Persona 4 now has social links to all the party members.

I don’t know but I see the investigation part poorly played and explained through out the game… It’s as if, the crime scene was already laid out open, and you simply have to follow it, which is lame. I think, they should have played this more effectively if they really did some sort of true investigation of the scene. Most of the investigation just seemed to be mere speculations which somehow ended up to be the truth. Of course, they do not belong to a professional group for crime investigations so that’s rather demanding and too much already but I think this should have been played much more effectively if Naoto became a member of the party way earlier than she did in the game. After all, she was the detective, having her do the deductions was kind of weak, since she joined the party last, even if you say she’s been around for a long time already, she really wasn’t aware of the world inside the TV before she became the victim herself.

Nevermore just fits the ending… Leaving Inaba after all those events, and having such great friends during the stay… I don’t know but I can’t help but also feel sad even though I’m also happy that the serial case has already been resolved. Of course, who will ever forget spending such days with  Yosuke and the others after one year? That scene with all your party members were chasing for you in the train was such a tear jerker… Aw, time to move on I guess. The ending was satisfactory, and at the same time, poignant.

Persona 4, is probably the last notable RPG that was released in PS2. Those who already own PS3 who haven’t played this yet, have missed something really great.

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image credits: pixiv users ott, 雨

6 comments
  1. mangaNo Gravatar says: January 3, 20105:31 pm

    It is indeed a great game.

    The story is great and you have to think about what is happening to be able to get the normal ending. The true ending demands even more from you.

    With the increase in stuff you can do with the social links and everything this game is just great 🙂

    The ending was something I did not wish to see. But it was a good ending. I still want a sequel to this game. When they are older and that either the characters meet up for collage in some other town or that the main hero returns to Inaba to meet up with everyone.

    At least they could make a anime out of it :p

  2. KairuNo Gravatar says: January 3, 20107:54 pm

    ANIME ADAPTATION FUCKING WHERE!?

    Also, Durarara!!

  3. foomafooNo Gravatar says: January 4, 20106:54 pm

    I think the game was actually demanding, whenever you should gather information, like, unlocking the dungeons and such, and also trying to get the true ending. haha, Maybe I saw somewhat linear because I was using a walkthrough — But I have to say that the only tricky part was the moment when Naoto asked the protagonist who is the possible true criminal — I would have fun at that part by trying to select all, but I read on the walkthrough that you only have 3 times to try.

    It has a manga though… I just don’t see the possibility of an anime though because of the previous result of trinity-soul — which I think didn’t really clicked that much to everyone. Anyway, I don’t know though if they’ll decide to do a complete anime adaptation straight from the game.

  4. foomafooNo Gravatar says: January 4, 20106:56 pm

    Just be patient and read the manga for the meantime. I don’t think it’s possible to have an anime adaptation though because trinity-soul didn’t really get that good reception from the viewers.

    I’m also going to watch Durarara! I don’t want to expect something very good though. I might be disappointed XD.

  5. mjsnoozerNo Gravatar says: January 10, 20103:19 pm

    I think the biggest differences between 3 and 4 is the leads.

    Even though the game let’s the player get inside the leads persona, I find 3’s lead a much more empty shell than the 4th.

    The 4th is much more leader quality due to his assertiveness (as reflected on the choices throughout the game). As for the 3rd, he’s more passive, as the 3rd game focuses more on the other’s than the lead’s circumstances.

    As for gameplay I’d prefer 4’s. If it’s raining, it’s time to grind and find rares (as said by the umbrella loli in front of the shop). The hands and the random boxes in 3 is actually annoying.

    Story-wise, I’d say 4 got the deepest concept of “Persona”, as all iterations treat personas as power/tools/weapons, the facade to face one’s self really explains it all.

    I’m waiting for P3P, as all the playable characters gets their own social links in the female path.

  6. foomafooNo Gravatar says: January 10, 20104:10 pm

    Yes, I though so too. P3’s protagonist is very laidback even though he was the assigned leader, and I can still see Mitsuru attempting to decide what and not to do.

    I actually didn’t maximize that feature regarding rainy days and the special mobs that would appear XD. Yeah, the hands in 3 are damn infuriating, plus the fact that the Reaper got it’s toll on you if you stayed for so long.

    Yes, I liked how Persona 4 explained that Personas are actually shadows, but controlled by the ego. — Although I think it’s not that deep because Persona 3’s concept of Persona is actually much more complicated to understand, plus it differentiated the origin of the shadows.

    I’m also waiting for the NA release but it’s kind of lame that the protagonists now doesn’t have the control on what weapon to equip… The idea of playing as the female lead still bothers me though hahaha.

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